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19 April 2017


I sat, one of 90 in the potential juror pool, and considered the question before me- "Do you believe that life is the result of destiny or that it is a matter of choices?"
As if it is simply a decision of one or the other?

I can't answer that I think that life events are determined by the most pure definition of "destiny," a predetermined state of events "which implies an inevitable and usually adverse outcome." Although I do believe in a sovereign and holy God who works providence over His creation, we are yet people who make choices.

And certainly, we know that choices have results and consequences that can tremendously alter the course of life. I wasn't chosen for that jury- so I'll never know what decisions led up to the moment that night when two lives ended and another was forever changed.

I finished my day in court and had over an hour of driving to think about the day, and the questions. My destination is the generally less-than-desirable Mexican border neighborhood that has become our second home. The kids there, they have not had any more choice over where they live than the kids in upscale neighborhoods across the river have chosen their homes. Neither choose the people who come in and out of their lives, what they observe and learn in the world around them. The Aquilles kids no more choose what they experience or the memories they keep than middle-class American kids do.

We go about our project for the evening, filling in the letters of our first name with the arcoĆ­ris, the colors of the spectrum of the rainbow. I am reminded, again, that each of these kids is unique, and uniquely known to our God. He gave the promise of the covenant long ago. He calls His people and never leaves them alone.

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.

Isaiah 43:1-2 (ESV)

I wonder if all the people back in the courtroom are remembering that same assurance?


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